Bundle of Joy...Not!

Then came Wednesday, September 23, 1987, I went into labour and brought forth a male child, in the image and likeness of his own dad. I sat there with Saul, over my baby, on the hospital bed and cried and cried, for no apparent reason. I didn't learn about postpartum depression until years later. Saul gave me a choice of two names, one; to name him Junior, after Saul or to name him after Saul's grandfather, Alexandre. I chose Alexandre and so he was named after his great grandfather. After five days in the hospital we came home. Alexandre was a very quiet baby. He rarely cried. He had trouble latching on the nipples, so breast feeding didn't last more than a few weeks. A breast pump was used afterwards, for another few weeks. Saul said that the baby didn't like breast feeding; meaning even the kid rejected me as it's mother. It turned out that he couldn't breast feed properly because my nipples were inverted.

All seemed fine until Christmas rolled around. Saul decided he wanted to go back home to Guyana for Christmas. Alexandre was not even three months old. It is note-worthy to know that before he left, Saul pierced his finger and with the blood drew a cross on the front door saying to leave it on there for our protection until he returned. For a man who reasoned with God he sure had a lot of superstitions. Since I was completely ignorant about the things of the spirit I said nothing, but it did seem strange. He believed in dreams and black magic. His grandfather Alexandre had practiced black magic. Saul had proven to me that he had physic abilities when he had asked me about my fidelity and about Tony after he accidentally cut his finger at work, but there is a limit to physic abilities.

He had described an incident to me one day that I never forgot because I didn't understand the meaning of it until much later. He told me that before he came to Canada, when he was at home in Guyana, a certain beggar would come around the village going from house to house begging. This is a common practice in Guyana. One day Saul called the beggar and invited him upstairs. He said that as he sat talking to the beggar, the man suddenly pointed at him and said, "Look! A snake! There's a snake on you!" The beggar left and never came to their gate again. Whenever he came into the village to beg he'd pass their house.

After Saul came back from Guyana things were quiet for a couple of weeks. He brought back a little hard cover, King James Bible and gave it to me to read. All the while he kept talking about Savitri and asking me if I would stay with him if he'd take her as his wife. He'd say I would be wife number one and she'd be second. He justified this using the Old Testament. He said, "A man can have as many wives as he wants." He also said, "Woman caused man to sin", that is why my adultery was punishable but he was a man and could do it. That didn't wash with me as ignorant as I was. We fought bitterly over that. I ate the bread of sorrow, and bathed in my own tears, day and night. Saul felt he had the right to punish me. He had written in one of his letters: "I'll go all out to punished (grammar, his) whoever hurts me, I know I'm not god to punished people but also I'm not a devil for people to punished me..."

One day he said, "Jesus is the devil." He came home another day and packed. Said he had to go away for a couple of weeks to think, he was going to spend two weeks at my brother's place. I tried to stop him from going but he said if he didn't go he would leave me but if he went and got a chance to think things through he would come back at the end of the two weeks, so he went. One evening he called me and told me I had to tell my sister about my brother-in-law and me, or he wouldn't come back home. I said I would and I did. When I told her, she said she already knew since my brother-in-law had told her everything. Looking back now, it's more like she dragged a confession out of him or he got scared that I would tell her (because I had stopped talking to him) and decided to tell her first. So now the dirty secret was out and I was the villain.

A few days later a letter from Savitri arrived. I opened it and read it. In my anger and despair I picked up the letter and baby and went over to my brother's place where Saul was staying. I handed him letter and baby at the door, came home and drank some Dettol. I panicked and called 911 and wound up in the hospital. I learned two thing about myself that night; one, I was not ready to meet my Maker and two; I didn't have the guts to take my own life. To take my life would mean I was going to meet my Maker and I wasn't ready to meet Him. The hospital didn't want to release me, unless someone would come forward and take custody of me. I called my dad, and he, my mom and my sister came to get me out. Mr. Saul showed up and said that he was going to take custody of me.

As soon as we got home he told me that he was giving me another chance. I naturally thought that this meant that we were going to have a clean start. It turned out he still wanted wife number two. He said that that was not negotiable. He was going to marry his perfect virgin, who sees visions. Oh yes! He came back from Guyana raving about her superior spirituality and how she sees visions. Once again I ate the bread of sorrow and cried night and day. I now weighed ninety-two pounds. Before I was pregnant with Alexandre I weighed at least ninety-five pounds. I went up to one hundred and thirteen pounds during my pregnancy and lost all the weight afterwards. I was sick throughout the pregnancy so I must have lost weight.

I was never a big person. I am barely five feet tall. Now that I was even skinnier, my husband told me I was flat, that I had no shape, and so it went on and on and on. I took it most of the time, but when I couldn't bear it any longer, I lashed out. He had told me I was a whore just like his mother was. I told him he was a dog and "It takes a dog to make a bitch." I threw all the women he had been with in his face, just as he accused me of the men I had been with. I told him at least none of them were my relatives, and so it went.

One night he went out with a friend and didn't come home. I was very angry and upset, because he had come home, picked up some cassette tapes, looked me square in the face and walked out without a word. I took a pair of scissors and cut up his clothes. The next morning there was a knock on the door. When I opened the door, there was Saul standing there. As soon as I saw him I slapped him. He did nothing. When I asked where he had been all night, he said in jail. What for I asked, he said for drunk driving. I felt sorry for him and for what I had done.

He said he wasn't drunk and didn't run any red light. The reporter who made the civil arrest said differently. He ran the red light. Then when the reporter chased him down he stopped the car, got out and started to run from the car. The reporter came after him and knocked him out, called the cops and he was locked up until the next morning when he was released on his own recognizance. Later, when he appeared in court for the trial and was convicted of drunk driving, he was sent to jail for fourteen days - he blamed me. While in jail he got a card from someone and wrote a long note in it and gave it to me when he was released nine days later.

In the card he reviewed all my past indiscretions and asked "O daughter of Eve, what should your punishment be?" For someone who said he forgave me, he certainly had a strange way of showing it. (When I later gave him back the card with my reply I said, "Eve's punishment was increased pain at child birth and that her desires shall be for her husband, therefore my punishment should be no greater than hers since my sin was no greater than hers"). He went on to say that he was giving me one final and last chance. I was totally confused because I did not know what I had done to deserve one final and last chance. I hadn't done anything else to hurt him.

By now his mother was with us in Canada, and I was very nasty towards her. Since her son had spoken nothing good about her, I blamed her for the hatred Saul had for women. He had told me how she used to bring another man into their house when his father wasn't home and how when his brother told his father, she lied to his face and his father chose to believe her over his brother. So there was a lot of resentment. There were days when that poor woman sat and wept because of the way I treated her. She loved me like the daughter she never had, and she witnessed first hand what I had turned into because of living with her son. I had changed. I was not the Margaret I used to be anymore. That Margaret was dead. After I came to my senses years later, she was one of the first people I called and apologized to for the way I treated her.

We moved in October, 1988, to another place. My mother-in-law lasted a few months with us in the new place then she left, she couldn't stand it any more.

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